Because of the inherent resilience, strength, and potential in many girls, the United Nations Children’s Fund has charged the federal government of Nigeria with providing teenage girls with the platforms to express themselves, learn, and flourish.
In a news release marking International Day of the Girl Child 2023, Cristian Munduate, UNICEF’s country representative, urged an uncompromising commitment to children as crucial to the nation’s development.
There are an estimated 26 million adolescent girls (10-19) in the country, and UNICEF has cautioned that the stakes are high for them. This is especially true for girls who are already marginalized because of their handicap, poverty, or crisis, or who are pregnant, parenting, or were forcibly married.
Munduate urged that efforts continue to prioritize girls’ access to quality education, the elimination of harmful cultural practices, the improvement of menstrual cleanliness, the provision of individualized health care, and the satisfaction of the girls’ unique dietary needs.
We must give our girls the opportunities for self-expression, education, and success in order for them to reach their full potential. Our dedication to this idea is unshakable, and its significance to the future of our country cannot be overstated.
According to the author, “in a rapidly evolving world, the dreams and aspirations of our adolescent girls are the beacons that can guide our efforts towards a more inclusive, equitable future.”
The terrain may be difficult, but there is still potential. Teenage girls in Nigeria are spearheading revolutionary projects in their communities; they are not onlookers. Now is the moment for them to be heard more clearly in the corridors of power.
In honor of today’s International Day of the Girl, UNICEF Nigeria is issuing a renewed call to action to protect and advance the rights of young women everywhere. Their limitless potential demands nothing less than the nation’s full support and resources.